The branch office of the Town and country planning (TCP) department at Pernem has been lacking infrastructure support and is in urgent need of attention.
The deficiencies here, which are since long, has caused great inconvenience to the citizens of the taluka.
The branch office still functions in a rented premises ever since it was inaugurated in the year 1994.
The office's telephone landline connection is not working and the people face hardships in contacting the office. The officials here have now displayed their personal mobile phone numbers to help the public contact the office.
Sources at the office informed TOI that they are connected with a BSNL landline. But, due to delay in paying the bills because of procedural delays due to lack of staff, the line has been disconnected. The office got it reconnected, but the problem resurfaced.
"I have complained to the BSNL office to replace the receiver and give them a connection but nothing has happened," said town planner Vinod Kumar.
The office is in the rented premises of the Shenvi Desai family on the outskirts of the town and is very difficult to locate. There was no signboard also till lately, and it was erected recently about four months back. The office staff confirmed that people are finding it difficult to locate the office. Sources said that efforts were made to shift the office to the government office complex which is in the heart of Pernem town but it was not successful.
The office is on the first floor which is made of wood. There are documents at the office which are crucial. There is no fire safety. There is also no security guard deployed at the office. The staff fear the hazard of fire.
"We saw fire at the Mantralaya in Mumbai. We fear it could happen here. The houseowner who stays below is the only security for us here," Kumar said.
The office also faces the problem of lack of staff. Three pre-employment training skills (PETS) employees who were deployed here, were relieved from the department in August and no replacement has been done yet. Presently, there are four employees; two draughtsman, a upper division clerk and a peon.
The town planner visits twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday.
There is no lower divisional clerk (LDC) at the office and the typing of the documents is done by the peon or other staff. In the absence of a LDC, maintaining outward and inward registers has become difficult.
"The typist is required to maintain the records. It is presently done by a peon or the technical staff," Kumar said. [TOI]